The Mount Aspiring College 1st XV will head in to competition season with the confidence of two pre-season wins on the scoreboard.
Following on from a convincing win against Wakatipu High School on March 10, MAC chalked up a 19-5 victory against Gore High School at home in Wanaka on Saturday, March 30.
The forwards set the tone for the match, squaring up against a big pack, showing aggression at the break down and setting up the game for the backs.
“That’s where our boys need to be able to compete, and this has been a big focus in training so far,” explains Carl Schmack who has stepped in to the 1st XV coaching role this season alongside Craig Read.
The first try of the match was scored by Ryan Schmack, playing at second five, with Lock Hamish Robinson dotting down a second try before half time. Robinson, who will captain the MAC team this season, was one of the stand out players on the day, dominating the line outs and looking strong with the ball in hand.
Openside flanker Callum Smith was strong on defence, putting in plenty of work around the breakdown.
Ashton Towers, who joins MAC this year from St Peters College, Cambridge, scored MAC’s third try of the game with hooker TJ Lilly kicking two conversions.
Coach Schmack said that he felt the team was “tracking well for the season ahead” and was looking forward to playing against a touring Australian school team on Sunday, April 21 before the first competition game in Queenstown on May 4.
MAC will play 11 teams in a round robin, and then the tournament will split in to a top four, middle four and bottom four section. The draw for the season is:
May 4 - Wakatipu in Queenstown
May 11 – Southland Boys High School in Wanaka
May 18 – Waitaki Boys High School in Oamaru
May 25 – Combined Schools in Wanaka
June 1 – Dunstan in Wanaka
June 8 – John McGlashan College in Dunedin
June 15 – Otago Boys High School 1st XV in Dunedin
June 22 – OBHS 2nd XV in Wanaka
June 29 – Kings in Dunedin
July 5 – South Otago High School in Balclutha
July 20 - St Kevins in Wanaka